penny’s first halloween

can it already be november? it’s hard to believe that there are only two months left in the year 2015. there already have been so many “first’s” with penny including milestones, seasons, events, and holidays. a memorable first in october was halloween. of course, penny being 5.5 months she’ll only have pictures to remind her how halloween was spent at that age. for parents with children under age 2, halloween is more for their amusement as they decide how to torture how to dress up their little one.

for us, it wasn’t any different. back in september, dennis and i were throwing around family costume ideas. i suggested star wars but that was vetoed since that would be a very popular choice due to the next installment being released winter. we briefly considered marvel superheroes until dennis proposed guardians of the galaxy. yes, this was it. dennis would go as star-lord, i would be gamora, penny would be baby groot and yuri would be rocket. it was perfect. the challenges that we faced were creating the costume for baby groot and painting my skin green.

i googled baby groot costumes for inspiration and bought materials at michaels.

baby groot

  • brown felt
  • very sharp scissors, or shears
  • brown hoodie and pants set
  • glue gun and glue sticks
  • fake leaves
  • white or yellow chalk
  • green yarn

the scissors, glue gun, glue sticks, and chalk i had at home; everything else we purchased at michaels with the exception of the hoodie and pants set. in a previous post, i mentioned once upon a child, a baby and children’s store selling gently used items of clothing and toys. we had the good luck of finding an old navy brown hoodie and pants set there for around $6. i cut out pieces of felt to resemble bark and glued them onto the hoodie and pants. i have to admit that my sister did nearly all of the bark. i did a few and kept putting off the project because i chose to nap instead of working on the costume -__-

thankfully when my sister came to visit for a few days she worked on the costume. the chalk was used to make the bark look more realistic. after the felt pieces were all glued on (we didn’t glue any on the backside of the costume since no one would see it – saves time!), i cut pieces of fake ivy from a flowering plant and glued them in strategic areas. i also cut out felt pieces to make a crown of bark on the hood. it was tricky at first trying to figure out how to make the felt pieces stand up instead of flopping over, but i spaced out the felt pieces when gluing the bottoms and let them fall onto each other. they ended up holding each other up for support.

the green yarn was used to resemble the green shoot running across the trunk of groot’s body.

giphy (4)

baby groot

i am groot

we were so pleased with how the costume turned out! she only got to wear it for an hour or so but it made for good pictures, and memories. we definitely will hold onto this costume… how can we discard it after all that work?

gamora

gamora

i was really worried about the makeup for my costume. first of all, when i went to party city (the day before halloween no less), there was only one small tube of green cream left. i purchased that and a green grease makeup as back-up.

we even planned how we were going to dress up and when we would take pictures. while dennis put penny down for her last nap, i started getting ready because my get-up would take the longest. i wore pleather-and-cotton leggings that i already had and borrowed a black tank top from dennis. then i proceeded to rub the makeup on my face. the green grease makeup did not blend well so i ended up the green cream for my face, neck, chest, and arms. i was afraid there wouldn’t be enough but i had plenty left over. i wasn’t as green as i had hoped i would be, but it would do. to be honest, i felt more like the wicked witch of the west, haha.

i also sprayed hot pink hair spray onto the ends of my hair. even though i used the entire can the color didn’t show up in the photos except for the one above. (and even that one doesn’t showcase the bold color.)

dennis wore clothes that he already had including a leather jacket, sport-utility pants from eastern mountain sports, a belt with a silver buckle and boots. he also dug up old headphones from a discman to wrap around his neck and colored a cassette tape to resemble star-lord’s mix tape.

IMG_2154

star-lord

for yuri’s costume, i glued 3 brown felt stripes onto a puffy vest that she already had. we turned it inside out so it would be orange just like rocket’s.

rocket

rocket

IMG_2149

family photo 🙂 i love how penny is staring at the cassette tape xD

IMG_2147 IMG_2146 IMG_2145

dennis’s mom stopped by after work to take our pictures 🙂

grandma and baby groot

grandma and baby groot

IMG_2179

we also took pictures while waiting for penny to wake up from her last nap. here’s one.

IMG_2152

i thought it would be neat to have the background be outer space so i used apps to superimpose our images. it’s pretty hard erasing the background around your own image using your finger… this was the best editing i could do and it took quite a while. my condolences to dennis and his missing right cheek.

halloween aside, october brought with it many changes (for better or for worse) in penny. though the sleep regression is long gone, penny’s naps are still irregular and shorter than what they used to be because of her current developmental leap. (yes, i’m still lamenting over the 2-3 hour nap she used to take late morning to early afternoon.) looking at my baby tracker app, there really isn’t too much of a noticeable pattern. she is still taking 3 naps unless the last one is too far from her bedtime. she has also been waking up around 6:30am lately and falling asleep before, or by, 6:30pm.

in my last post, i had talked about pushing up penny’s bedtime in 10-15-minute increments. it had been working for the most part until FRIDAY. that day, penny refused her third nap. i might be the one to blame… i was about to put penny down in her crib when i had the strong urge to cough. terrified i’d wake her, i hurriedly but gently placed her in the crib and closed the bedroom door. unfortunately, her door cracked twice (!) while i was closing it and then the click of the door woke her up… dennis intervened but it was too late: she was wide awake. normally we don’t put penny down for a nap after 4:30 so she will be awake by 5 to not interfere with her bedtime, but she desperately needed that last nap. she cried from exhaustion and fell asleep at 5:15 so we had no choice but to push her bedtime back since she ended up sleeping until 7pm.

anytime i try to plan and organize around penny, i’m reminded how flexible i have to be and just go with the flow.. easier said than done since i’m so neurotic about schedules. dennis keeps me sane because he’s so much more adaptable and easygoing than i am.

currently, penny’s on her last nap. lately her first two naps have been 30-45 minutes while the third is about an hour and a half… but even that can be unpredictable. when i put penny down for her last nap around 1pm, i calculated that she would wake up around 2:30pm or earlier but desperately hoped she would wake up at 3pm (earliest) so she wouldn’t be overtired for bedtime. last night i had to put penny down at 5:40pm! i think the whole daylight savings thing is throwing her off a little still. thankfully, she woke up for the day at 6:40 and not earlier than that!

what do you know.. it’s 3:02pm and penny’s still sleeping. so happy right now!!!!

so many things to look forward to this month:

  • THANKSGIVING with my huge family in boston
  • my birthday (the 28th)
  • penny will be 6 months old
  • penny will (re)start solids (i tried at 5 months and stopped)
  • 6-month growth spurt.. not really looking forward to this but it’s good for her, at least
  • arts & crafts play dates with genie and olivia

well, penny’s stirring now.. of course, a huge construction truck had to drive past her window.. but thankful she slept this long because she we really needed it!

“ohana” means “family”

it’s been a busy month, clearly. i was surprised to see that i hadn’t updated my blog in two weeks.

the sleep regression finally ended about a week and a half ago. penny is back to sleeping about 12 hours a night with one feeding around 3am. thing is, she started a new leap recently (that will last a MONTH!). with every development leap, come the 3 c’s: cranky, clingy, and crying. i still get impressed with how accurate the ‘wonder weeks app’ is at describing the abilities penny will pick up during this phase, and what signs are indicative of her leap.

IMG_2062IMG_2067

perfecting her grip... hmm, a future pharmacist like dad??

perfecting her grip… hmm, a future pharmacist like dad??

visit daddy at work

visit daddy at work

for instance, one sign of penny’s leap (“relationships”) is that she will “sleep less, sleep worse, and eat less.” she sleeps fine at night (thank god!) but her naps have been affected, mostly her second nap which used to be 2-3 hours. now, i’m lucky if i can get her to sleep 1.5 hours for her second nap. on days that she naps poorly, i try to squeeze in a fourth nap to compensate for her long awake time between her third nap and bedtime but most days it’s unsuccessful. she will fight me tooth and nail to stay up; it’s as if she knows she shouldn’t be taking a fourth nap.

i also don’t want to push up bedtime because she hasn’t been eating much during the day. some days she’ll have consumed less than 10 oz total and it’s 4pm! she’s been teething recently so it’s uncomfortable for her to eat but it’s also because of her leap. the good thing is that penny ends up consuming large amounts in a short period of time just before bedtime. it’s as if she knows she has to sleep a long stretch and she really should eat. the other night, she ate 9.25 oz an hour before she passed out! i never know how much she’ll eat so i just have milk ready for her and refill the bottle as i go. again, i’m just relieved her nighttime sleep isn’t affected.

speaking of sleep, daylight savings ends this upcoming sunday. supposedly, we gain an hour of sleep but this is so not true for parents. we’re up whenever the baby is up. still, there are preventative measures to keep your baby from waking up at 5:30am and wanting to party.

this article informs us how to make sure your baby doesn’t confuse the time change come next sunday. a week before daylight savings ends, you push back your child’s bedtime in 10-15-minute increments every night or every other night. penny has been going to bed around 6:30, if not sooner, recently so tuesday night i put her to bed at 6:50pm instead of 6:30pm. last night was 7:07pm, and tonight was 7:15pm.  it’s already working because she’s waking up a little later to nurse for the motn (middle of the night) feeding and also for the day. hopefully by the time sunday morning rolls around she will wake up at 7am instead of 6am. this’ll mean that i may have to put her to bed closer to 8pm on saturday night which is really late for her.. i’m worried about keeping her up and making her overtired especially with penny rejecting the fourth nap. i guess that’s why the article suggests short increments so the baby gradually gets used to having the bedtime extended. we’ll see how this goes *fingers crossed*

i’ve been working on this post since yesterday. my sister came down tuesday night to visit and stayed until 4:30pm today. i’m really thankful my sister was able to visit for a few days not only to help take care of penny but also for the adult company. my parents and sister actually came down to visit last friday and brought a ton of food from the restaurant and home. hard to believe, but they hadn’t seen penny since penny’s 100th day celebration back in august! even though they live only an hour and a half away, they’re so busy tending to their businesses they don’t have much time for anything else. i do hope my parents can find more time to visit though. they were amazed at how much penny has grown, but they’re also wistful that they missed out on so much already. that’s why my sister decided to visit again – she doesn’t want to keep missing penny’s milestones and developmental growths, or have her be a stranger to penny.

dad feeding penny

dad feeding penny

FullSizeRender

so curious

so curious

IMG_1933

IMG_1925

she LOVES her rainforest jumperoo

she LOVES her rainforest jumperoo

penny and i worked on halloween crafts several days ago. we created halloween cards using her hand-and-foot prints.

IMG_1959

IMG_1962

IMG_1970

today, genie and olivia came over for a play date. it had been a few weeks since i had seen them both so it was great to catch up. olivia can now sit up unassisted and has two teeth! so many changes in such a short amount of time… we plan to get together soon work on christmas crafts! can’t wait!

olivia :)

olivia 🙂

IMG_2089 IMG_2090

penny has been aware of, and tracking, yuri for quite some time now but she also gets so amused by her. she’ll laugh and kick her legs whenever she sees yuri. what’s funny is that olivia is just as entertained by yuri. we noticed today that olivia would laugh and get excited whenever she spotted yuri; it was the cutest thing. at one point, both girls kept staring at yuri but she could care less. in fact, she hates it when penny tries to pet her no matter how gently she does it.. i think it’s because she’s still a bit jealous of penny.

IMG_2068

face/off

face/off

speaking of ‘olivia’, my friend, esther, became a first-time mom to a baby girl, olivia, three weeks ago. now i have two baby mama friends with daughters named olivia. congratulations, esther and william! here’s a picture of the beautiful family 🙂

IMG_2058

although i take pictures, and record videos, of penny nearly every day i have very little photos of penny with both dennis and me. i asked dennis to take photos of me with penny, and a neighbor walking by with her dog asked if we wanted family photos. of course we do! hoping we can take some decent photos soon for christmas cards as well.

IMG_2029

IMG_2041

IMG_2028

IMG_1988

IMG_1998